NPR: Democrats in the Wilderness

From an NPR piece titled “Democrats Try To Find A Future Post-Obama With Fault Lines Along Economics, Race”:

While many in the party were encouraged by the massive turnout for the Women’s March Saturday, which was bigger than the crowd that showed up for Trump’s inauguration the day before, Democrats have no clear leader and no unified policy direction. Democrats suffered a stunning defeat in November, capping off a disastrous string of defeats during the Obama years. Democrats have lost more than 1,000 state legislative seats in that time, dozens of congressional and governors seats — and are at the lowest point of their power than at any time in the last century.

In this post-mortem moment, Democrats can’t even agree on why the party lost. Some, like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s chief rival for the nomination, say Democrats focused too much on identity politics and need to return to their economic roots. Others point out that identity politics is a necessary part of the game. They argue that Trump was playing to his own base of white identity politics and that black voters, for example, were among the most loyal Clinton supporters, so the party should not abandon them and cater to whites.

And yet others insist that economics and race are not mutually exclusive choices, that it is possible to focus on both simultaneously. Figuring out that balance is going to be central to the party’s survival, as it currently wanders in the political wilderness.

This ‘wilderness’ word is everywhere, even within liberal media outlets.

Why are they in the wilderness? Because the following example, aka the Loudest Voice in the Room, is the New Face of the Democratic Party:

About an hour and a half west of the Mahoning Valley, in Cleveland, Chinemerem Onyeukwu, 23, part of a group called Ohio Young Black Democrats, echoed that message. He, too, wants a more progressive party.

“If the Democratic Party wants to be around in the future, they need to go left,” said Onyeukwu, an organizer for the state’s coordinated campaign that worked to elect Clinton…

… And for Onyeukwu, that audience includes many people of color. So he wants a party that also continues to push for more progressive policies on race.

“I want to guard against the Democratic Party, because they feel that they lost because white men and white women did not vote for Democrats,” Onyeukwu said. “I want to make sure that we do not abandon minority demographics to go and pander back to white Americans.”

Chinemerem Onyeukwu, I should mention, is not white.

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